If you're contemplating a color change for Spring, then chances are you're going to want to visit a salon to achieve your big transition. So you just walk in, tell the colorist what you'd like, and exit a couple hours later looking happy and stylish, right? Wrong. "You can't expect to always be on the same page as your colorist," says celebrity hairstylist Jennifer J. But there are a few things you can do to ensure your color service goes seamlessly, whether you're a first-timer or an old veteran. Get Jennifer's expert tips when you keep reading.

  1. Go with clean hair: The reason stylists have said in the past to wear your hair dirty on the day of your color is to protect oversensitive scalps. But Jennifer says otherwise. "If you go to the salon with dirty hair, that's not the way your hair looks," she says. This can cause problems because your hair looks darker than normal and your hair isn't falling naturally, making it more difficult for the colorist to achieve the desired shade(s).
  2. Bring photos of what you don't like: "I think it's so important to bring photos to appointments," Jennifer explains. "It cuts out a lot of the questions." But something she suggests that my not seem obvious is to bring photos of looks that you don't want your hair to turn out like. "It's just another way to communicate your wants to your stylist," she says. And more communication means a better chance you'll go home happy.
  3. Consider maintenance: How often can you commit to getting your hair colored? If you're covering gray hair, expect a bit more upkeep. But if you're looking for something a little less dramatic, opt for highlights on every layer of hair but the very top. You'll be able to get away with skipping a salon visit here and there.